Consider the $38-million price tag on the release of Troy Tulowitzki the final bill for punting Jose Reyes midway through the 2015 season, when the need to pay out a shortstop who no longer fit the roster was punted a few years down the road.
The Toronto Blue Jays could have taken the financial hit then, run with Ryan Goins at shortstop and diverted their resources elsewhere but then-GM Alex Anthopoulos instead made a bold play for the longtime Colorado Rockies star.
Essentially, the math worked like this: the money was essentially even in ’15, but the Blue Jays took on the $98 million owed to Tulowitzki rather than eating the $48 million due Reyes in 2016-17 plus a buyout on his 2018 club option. So for $50 million, they got Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins for Reyes and prospects Jeff Hoffman, Jesus Tinoco and Miguel Castro.
The deal remains polarizing, especially now that the mortgage has come due, but with Tulowtizki up the middle, the Blue Jays won the AL East in 2015, the wild card in ’16 and made back-to-back trips to the ALCS.